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Fascination of the Atlanticwall in Norway
Allmost from the very beginning of the constructions, the Germans faced a great deal of new problems they never had dealt with before. The sudden need for huge amount of concrete and steel could under no circumstances be delivered by Norwegian factories. The supplylines for rawmaterials became very long, and neither harbours, roads or railways were prepared for this sudden traffic. All these problems mixed together often made the constructors improvise with all available materials. This explains why the Atlantikwall in Norway looks very different from the rest of Europe, and also why you will never find two identical batteries.
Bunkers from the “Regelbauten” series were rarely built, and many of them are adapted for special use, or even built as pure special constructions from completely new sets of drawings.
In addition, Norway is definately “The land of the tunnelsystems”! Both personelshelters and ammunitionstores were as far as possible blasted into the rocks as tunnels.
Another advantage with bunker exploring in Norway is the rocky terrain and hard clima.
The vegetation grows slow, or even not at all, thus preventing many of the batteries to dissapear within bushes and trees.
Several German batteries were reused by the Norwegian coastalartillery.
Some of these batteries may have the original layout from the war, and others may be completely rebuilt, but then often still with original German guns!
Until recently, most of these batteries were kept closed, and not accessible for civilians.
This started to change in the 90`s, when the changes in the Norwegian defece strategy called for a closedown of nearly all coastalbatteries. The static fortresses were dropped in favour of new fastgoing boats, each carrying a platoon with Hellfire missiles.
Since then, more and more military areas have been sold on the open market, or given back to former landowners. This could sound positive for those who want to see these areas, but closing down means closing down....... Most bunkers are completely sealed with concrete, guns and steelparts scrapped, trenches covered and barracks tore down.......
Some places, local interests have managed to keep something left, or better to “stop the madness” as we would call it. Anyway, the sleeping and well preserved state of the Atlantikwall in Norway is slowly going away..........
ARN have started this personal quest to make dokumentations of as much as possible before it`s too late. Sad to say, in some places, we were allready beaten!